How do you turn a possible customer service nightmare into a customer service win? Take a cue from the Ritz-Carlton in Santiago: Penguins!
Juanita Buss, the mother of a CNN employee, decided to go for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to South America and Antarctica. The last leg of her trip was in Santiago, Chile, and while she was checking out of the Ritz-Carlton, the staff was horrified to find one of her bags had been misplaced.
When they asked her what was in it, she assured them it was nothing particularly valuable, at least not monetarily -- just some souvenirs for her grandchildren, including two stuffed penguins to commemorate the Antarctic leg of her trip. The hotel took note, and Buss went on her way, expecting nothing more than the usual compensation check.
Instead, she received a very different delivery. The folks at the Ritz had bought Buss' grandchildren two new stuffed penguins, complete with custom embroidery. They also wrote a sweet little letter from the penguins' point of view, explaining their grand journey. The best part? The staff had gotten creative and took pictures of the penguins, Magdalena and Claudio, enjoying the sights and luxuries of the hotel.
Needless to say, Buss and her grandchildren were delighted, and unbeknownst to the hotel staff, the gesture capped off an emotional journey. "My mom has always loved to travel," Buss' daughter told us. "But my father passed away two summers ago, and she now has a bucket list of places to go. This trip was on her bucket list."
Take a look at the finished product above. Well played, Ritz-Carlton, well played indeed.